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Disappearance and disintegration of cometsThe present investigation has the objective to provide a summary of the existing evidence on the disappearance of comets and to draw conclusions regarding the physical processes involved in the disappearance. Information concerning the classification of evidence and the causes of apparent disappearance of comets is presented in a table. Attention is given to the dissipating comets, the headless sungrazing comet 1887 I, and the physical behavior of the dissipating comets and the related phenomena. It is found that all comets confined to the planetary region of the solar system decay on astronomically short time scales. However, only some of them appear to perish catastrophically. Some of the observed phenomena could be successfully interpreted. But little insight has been obtained into the character of the processes which the dissipating comets experience.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Sekanina, Z. (California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1984
Publication Information
Publication: Icarus
Volume: 58
ISSN: 0019-1035
Subject Category
Distribution Limits